The 3 Tmall Metrics That Every Brand Needs to Know

Rachel Olsen

September 15, 2022

If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.

At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.

What is Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR)?

Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.

Why DSR Determines Success on Tmall

DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.

Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.

DSR Score Elements

1. Service

Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.

So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.

2. Delivery

Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.

So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.

3. Content

As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.

The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).

Expand Internationally With Pattern

As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter. 

It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.

Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.

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6 Executive Trading Problems on Amazon and How to Avoid Them - blog header
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6 Executive Trading Problems on Amazon and How to Avoid Them

At Pattern, we are constantly trying to better understand brands' performance and experience on Amazon through our research and marketplace data. Our latest Amazon Seller report uncovered common pain points executives faced throughout 2022 on Amazon in Europe and the Middle East. 

Not too surprisingly, there was more than one trading challenge for CEOs selling on Amazon in Europe and the Middle East. There were several top responses such as supply chain issues, advertising, and stock outs–all challenges we hear frequently from 1P Sellers on Amazon no matter the region.  

Here is what we learned about 1P seller trading problems on Amazon:

1. Getting Product into Amazon Warehouses 

Of the brand CEOs who took the survey, 52% mentioned this challenge–making it the most common issue for the second year in a row.  Basically, executives struggle with getting their product into Amazon warehouses, which typically happens because Amazon FBA can be difficult to navigate and comply with. Illegible barcodes, not labeling your products correctly, and a failure to include certain details on barcodes are all reasons your product could be rejected by Amazon FBA works. 

2. Increasing Chargebacks

51% mentioned increasing chargebacks on their products on Amazon, which occurs when brands fail to maintain stock levels or fulfill orders on time. As a 1P seller, if there are any issues with the products you send to Amazon, they will charge you for the time and effort it took for them to resolve those issues. 

Various types of chargebacks could include unauthorized use of credit cards, operational malfunctions (late arrivals, technical issues, etc.), and packaging non-compliance. In a 1P Seller relationship, Amazon will charge vendors with these chargebacks, and disputing them is typically a long, time-intensive, and costly endeavor for any brand.

3. Increasing CPC Costs for Amazon Advertising 

Increasing CPC costs for Amazon Advertising was mentioned by 45% of respondents as a top trading problem. Getting traffic to a product listing helps brands keep their inventory levels stable, so that they never have too much or too little of the product. Increasing CPC costs leads to a possible loss in traffic to a brand’s product, leading to fewer conversions and sales in the long run. 

4. Your Own Supply Chain Being Disrupted 

Sometimes it is not an Amazon issue, but an internal resource and capabilities scenario. 43% of respondents mentioned their own supply chain being disrupted as a common trading problem. Supply chains can be disrupted by a variety of factors, such as inventory order delays, supplier issues, shipping expenses, and problems with existing inventory. 

5. Inadequate Forecasting Methods to Keep Enough Stock in Hand

Many brands lack the resources and expertise to accurately forecast stock levels, according to 38% of the survey respondents. Inadequate forecasting methods can lead to high costs, non-competitive prices, and dissatisfied customers.

6. High Out of Stock Levels Due to Amazon’s Algorithm-driven Price Reductions

High out of stock levels due to Amazon’s algorithm-driven price reductions frustrated 37% of respondents in 2022. Amazon’s dynamic pricing strategy makes sure that the most competitive prices are being offered to shoppers. Low prices are great for shoppers, but sometimes stressful for brand executives. Amazon’s sudden algorithm-driven price reductions can catch a brand off-guard, leading to stockouts. 

Why Most Brand Executives Face the Same Challenges

Being in a 1P relationship with Amazon has its ups and downs—just like any relationship. One of those downsides includes the trading problems mentioned above. In a 1P relationship, Amazon buys your product wholesale and handles most of the selling details, which can be very beneficial in some ways, but may lead to less brand control on your end. Brand executives selling their products through Amazon in Europe and the Middle East face the same challenges that brands are facing world-wide–a lack of brand control and resources to succeed.

Trading problems are just one aspect of the challenges brands face as 1P sellers on Amazon. Learn more about these issues in the full Amazon Vendor Survey from 2022.

How to Avoid These Issues on Amazon

The good news about the trading challenges brand executives are facing as a 1P seller on Amazon is that they are all avoidable. In a 1P relationship, you’re constantly being forced to work around their erratic forecasts, limited communication, and changing priorities. But in a 3P partnership, you dictate inventory management, allowing you to stay in-stock, maintain control of forecasting, and plan for promotions or holidays.

With Pattern as your 3P accelerator, you can simplify forecasting and get inventory to the right place. You ship inventory to one of our warehouses, and we handle the rest—distribution across Amazon’s warehouse network for FBA, repackaging products into bundles, and delivering your orders on time.

Avoid the trading problems on Amazon by partnering with Pattern. Contact us. 

Discover more insights by downloading our annual Amazon Vendor Survey EMEA.

People of Pattern - Ellie Dolphin
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Ellie Dolphin, Brand Manager: People of Pattern

At Pattern, we believe the key to success is our team members. Our PeopleofPattern series shines a light on the people that make Pattern great, learning about their roles, experiences, and what it’s like to work at Pattern. This week we spoke with Ellie Dolphin, Brand Manager in our London office. Could you tell me a bit about your role and experience working at Pattern? I work as a Brand Manager in the Brand Management team here in Pattern’s London office. I’ve been working here for two years now, having started in 2020. I act as the main point of contact for our brand partners, in my case I work with Rituals. I work as their key stakeholder within the business to help them liaise with all of our other functions. This includes our merchandising team, ordering team, advertising team, the warehouse team, and operations team, so it is a beast of a task! This alignment ensures the brand’s business is optimised and we are making good commercial decisions to hit their objectives on marketplaces like Amazon. Why do you choose to work at Pattern? My previous role was quite different to where I am today. I previously worked in a translation team, so we were always reacting to decisions that other people made and translating work that they’d made for other marketplaces. What I liked about Pattern, was that I would be the driver instead. Here, I get to drive forward the strategy and tactics for my brand partners that are best for them on the platform. In my role as a Brand Manager I am no longer reactive to other’s actions, I get to be really proactive and make key decisions. This suits me really well and has helped me develop as a person in terms of my commercial and strategic knowledge. I have learnt a lot about ecommerce in general and also about Amazon and marketplaces specifically, which has been really beneficial for my personal development. What has been the most rewarding part of working at Pattern for you? For me, it’s when I get positive feedback from my partners and when I’m able to cultivate a good relationship with them as well. When a brand partner is succeeding on marketplaces, it means we’re both winning. Pattern is winning, and most importantly our brand partners are winning as well. It feels great knowing that our team has helped them, such as supporting them in achieving their internal goals or sharing data that allows them to validate trends they see in other areas of their business. I enjoy championing my brand partner’s best interests and being their advocate. What does a typical day as a Brand Manager look like? One of the best things about being a brand manager is that no two days look the same. For me, it’s normally reviewing how my brand partner’s business is performing as a whole, so how my listings are appearing, how sales are performing, and then seeing if there are any opportunities to drive more sales in the short term. I plan for new product launches, coordinating with the creative team for new assets, or with the ordering team for forecasting what we might need to order, or with the overseas team on actually setting up those listings and getting them live. I also look at the bigger picture, thinking about the brand’s biggest goals for marketplaces and what our strategy will be in order to achieve this over the next quarter and year, The other part would be communicating with the brand partners themselves, to make sure they are aware of all developments and updates in the business, they have all the information they need to make decisions on their side, and that they are confident in what we’re doing and aware of the results. Why would you recommend working at Pattern? Like I said earlier, the days are really varied and interesting. This is great from a working perspective. For me, it’s also the people I work with. Pattern is a really social company, which makes coming into the office and getting through the work day really enjoyable. I’m actually in the social committee, a responsibility I really enjoy. I love getting the team involved in all the activities that we do. We enjoy going to the pub together, participating in charity races, we have our own Pattern bar in the London office called the Pattern & Crown where we host events each month, there’s lots of things that we all enjoy getting involved in as a team - it’s great. We’re growing our team at Pattern! If you're looking to start a career in ecommerce or even if you're a seasoned professional and want to learn more about our exciting opportunities, check out [our open positions here](https://pattern.com/about/careers/).

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Shopper trends and growth opportunities for brands in the United Arab Emirates

Pattern’s 2022 Amazon United Arab Emirates (UAE) shopper research has highlighted the consumer habits in the region, and demonstrated why it is fast becoming one of the most exciting growth opportunities for brands selling online. We surveyed UAE online shoppers at the beginning of 2022 to determine how their shopper behaviour was likely to develop during the year compared to 2021. We compiled our findings in the UAE Shopper Report 2022 and share the most interesting insights shown below. Shoppers have an appetite to spend Online spending in the UAE is set to see a year-on-year increase during 2022. Overall, 74% of online shoppers polled said they would spend more online shopping this year compared to 2021. A further 19% expected to spend the same as in 2021, with just 6% expected to spend less. Of the 74% who expect to spend more during 2022, nearly half (47%) said this figure was likely to be a lot more. Online marketplaces lead the way More respondents expected to purchase online this year from Amazon or Noon than other online retailers for every major product category, including fashion, consumer electronics, home and kitchen, and beauty. For example, in the consumer electronics category, 61% of online shoppers expect to buy from Amazon, and 42% from Noon. In comparison, only 14% expect to buy online from retailers with both stores and a website. For home and kitchen, 60% expect to buy from Amazon, 46% from Noon and just 18% to buy online from retailers with a store and website. This pattern is mirrored in many other categories. Amazon opens new doors The opportunity for consumers to discover new products and brands through Amazon is evident. 42% of Amazon.ae shoppers purchased a product from a brand that they had never purchased before. Our findings show that Amazon.ae is a great platform for brands to raise their profile amongst UAE’s online shoppers. Our UAE Shopper Report shows the growing popularity of Amazon in the region, with shoppers using Amazon to find new products and discover new brands. With increases in usage, spending and Prime membership across almost all age groups, Amazon.ae is a platform where consumer brands must build a strong presence if they want to achieve Middle Eastern sales growth. The UAE’s ecommerce market size is predicted to grow from US$10 billion in 2021, to US$17 billion in 2025, reinforcing the opportunity for brands to achieve profitable growth in the region. Download the full [2022 UAE Shopper Report](https://info.pattern.com/uae-shopper-report-2022) to learn more about the insights we have gained from this research.